Mary and Martha

Mary-Martha-Lazarus.jpgBy Laurel Dykstra, on Luke 10:38-42

*Note: this Radical Discipleship classic was originally posted in July 2016.

I don’t like the story of Mary and Martha.

Most of us already know if we are more like Mary, who sits at Jesus’ feet, or more like Martha, who is distracted by her many tasks. And it seems to me that no matter how nice they try to be about it, most of the sermons and commentaries on this passage seem to say, “Yay Mary and Boo Martha” Continue reading

Bound By Love

We The People, Delivery

Monica Lewis-Patrick and Debra Taylor leading up the ideology of the beloved community in Detroit

By Tommy Airey, on the Parable of the Good Samaritan

When the lawyer finally got face-time with Jesus, he poured out what was heaviest on his heart, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He groped for a guarantee. He wanted a divine will and testament. He was begging for a bill of rights.

As usual, Jesus pivoted on freedom. He was never much into being The Bible Answer Man. He asked the lawyer how he interpreted the sacred text. The lawyer’s answer, according to Jesus, was spot-on. Eternity’s most valuable asset has nothing to do with where we go when we die. It is a gut-busting love for both our higher power and our lowly neighbors. Right here. Right now.  Continue reading

Collapse, Part II

WolinBy Ric Hudgens

In this apocalyptic age where if the politics don’t kill you the ecology will, I am pondering a distinction made three decades ago by the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin. Wolin distinguished between a politics of intending and tending. Comparing these two modes of thinking Wolin saw one as prone to control and power and the other as a means of attention and care.*

The politics of intention requires power, as we strain toward a future that is not yet guaranteed. Continue reading

To Do Is To Know

the-good-samaritan-1907By Ched Myers, a short commentary on this weekend’s Gospel Story (Luke 10:25-37; right: “The Good Samaritan” by Paula Modersohn-Becker)

Note: This piece was originally posted on Radical Discipleship on July 7, 2016.

The famous Parable of the Good Samaritan is often sentimentalized, but its subversive character and genuine profundity can never be exhausted. It comes on the heels of Jesus’ sending out of the “seventy,” and his long “missionary discourse” (Lk 10:1-24).  How different the history of Christianity would have been had disciples in every age followed these relatively simple but incisive instructions to travel with the gospel in a vulnerable and provisional mode, rather than a dominating one! But if the unholy joining of mission and empire has been the first pillar of Christendom’s apostasy, surely the second has been the church’s tendency to define faith through dogma. It is this religious bad habit that Luke addresses in this Sunday’s parable. Continue reading

An Uneasy Peace

NicholaBy Nichola Torbett (in center of photo, blockading Wells Fargo in San Francisco in solidarity with Line 3 Pipeline fighters/water protectors). Sermon re-posted with permission from The Longing is the Compass blog

I choked my own self up preaching this sermon (Sunday, May 26) at the very hospitable and loving Park Presidio United Methodist Church. The scripture is John 14: 23-31.

Happy Eastertide! Although, if you’re anything like me, Easter feels like a long time ago, we are still in the liturgical season of Easter, which I think maybe we take a little too blithely, honestly. I mean, resurrection is just plain weird. Let’s admit it. The guy was dead, and then he wasn’t.

Isn’t. Continue reading

Confessions of a Westward Expansionist

PrintBy Tommy Airey

This book review of Rose Marie Berger’s Bending the Arch originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Geez Magazine.

The day after the brutal massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, there was a blizzard. The snow highlighted the innocence and purity of the victims. However, the whitest of snow could not cover the extent of Indigenous blood.

I recently heard this story told by Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, and a few days later I found myself stranded under two feet of snow in Northern Paiute land, sitting next to the fire with Rose Marie Berger’s newly released book of poems, Bending the Arch. Continue reading

The Guardians of Whiteness

RubyFrom the Front Porch of Ruby Sales.

*Originally posted to social media on July 1, 2019.

This morning as I hear the press legitimizing Trump’s lies as truth, it occurs to me that it is time for the prayer warriors to offer an intervention. May we pray for the soul healing of White Americans so that they love themselves enough to end the reign of White sociopaths who for centuries have carried out a cocktail of interlocking socio-spiritual abuse to contain White resistance. May we pray that they learn to love their authentic selves and remove years of self-loathing that spills over in anger and transference towards Black and Brown peoples. May we pray that they replace non-redemptive anger with redemptive anger that gives them the will and reason to confront the real abusers. Continue reading